29 September 2017

Nigeria: Illegal Arms Import - Security Yet to Search Abuja Property

Security agencies are yet to search the Abuja property linked to persons suspected to have illegally imported arms in the country.

Its over seven days since the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) impounded the consignment at the Tin Can Island port in Lagos.

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col Hameed Ali (rtd), named Great James Oil and Gas Ltd as the company linked to the 470 guns. He also said the company was responsible for the importation of the earlier 1,100 weapons seized at the port.

The company used a vessel, AVS Arkas Africa, to import the guns from Turkey.

Daily Trust gathered that the company was registered in July, 2011 with Ayogu Cyril, Ayogu Kelvin and Ayogu Great James as directors with RC 968675. It gave its Abuja office as Suite 4, 4th Avenue, Prince and Princess Estate in Kaura District.

However, investigations yesterday revealed that, since the incident, no security agency visited the property to interrogate the occupants, which is basically a residence.

The black gate of the light-green property was quiet with a car parked inside and there was no security guard at the gate. However, some windows of the building were open.

Inquiries from neighbours revealed that there was no security presence around the house nor was there any search. A neighbour's private security guard said there was never a police raid on the property.

He simply said the two "ogas" of the house went out and they owned Mercedes Benz cars but don't know the model.

A uniformed guard at the second gate of the estate very close to the building said the only security presence was two weeks ago at the gate. "I saw about eight policemen with red berets but they have nothing to do with the house," he said.

According to him, they normally work in shifts and his colleagues didn't inform him of any security presence in the avenue, when he resumed work two days ago.

When our reporter visited the property last Saturday, the guard and another person seated at the gate denied knowledge of the said oil and gas firm or the occupants linked to it.

The Customs boss said the company used the elbow plumbing plastic that it declared in the bill of lading to deceive officials about the concealed weapons.

He said the 470 weapons were found after officers subjected the 20-foot container No. CMAU189817/8 to 100 per cent examination.

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